Saturday February 11th, 2017 – Stanley, Idaho
The Travel Ban continues into its 4th day. Avalanches and the threat thereof, keeps all roads out of Stanley closed and subsequently unable to reach the next towns – Challis to the east, Sun Valley to the south, and Boise to the west. The Idaho Department of Transportation (as of 7:30AM) says the roads remain closed indefinitely. That sounds like a Ban to me. Our Community (Goat Creek) hires a snow crew to keep our private road system – if it can be so-called – somewhat clear an usable all winter. This despite snow/precipitation currently sitting at 180% or normal (Galena station). Linda says this year is the 3rd most season-to-date since records starting being kept in 1884. I keep the driveways and path system (I appear to be big into systems) clear with a large Briggs & Stratton Snowblower.
At 5PM Friday, Steve in his Front Loader (versus CAT SnowBlower) performed a clearing of the 6 -12 inches of icy-slushy snow covering the existing season’s accumulation pack from the roads. The Front Loader is powerful but much less refined the the CAT SnowBlower.
The clearing allowed yours truly and Shae dog to venture across the Goat Creek Intra-Community Road System and then through the Sawtooth National Recreation land via the Forest Service Road – Iron Creek #611 to Highway 21 and the 2 miles into Stanley. Note we hold a permit to drive on and plow the road within Forest Service property.
While not looking quite like a scene from World Apocalypse 2017: Dead Jeff Walking, Stanley appeared to be emptier than normal. That is tough to say for a town with a population of 63 (2010 census). At the Mercantile the remaining food, food stuffs and the various sundry items remained ample. Shae dog and I resupplied. We also re-filled the 5-gallon propane tank for the Cabin’s outdoor grill – just in case we lose power.
This morning Shae dog and I got up and out a bit before sunrise in order to capture the mountains gathering the early light. Temperatures were back down to their normal levels. When I took the shots above and below the temperature was about 9 degrees Fahrenheit.
With some time on my hands, I am going to venture up into the Goat Creek Basin for a six-mile out and back trip (upper middle area in photo above). I confirmed with Chris Lundy – my friend, neighbor and owner of Sawtooth Mountain Guides (formerly Director of the Sun Valley Avalanche Center for 10 years) this trek has a low-moderate danger for Avalanche given last nights freeze.